The American music media has been sending off flares for months to signal the impending arrival of John Butler Trio's U.S. debut, "Sunrise Over Sea," and with good reason.

The American music media has been sending off flares for months to signal the impending arrival of John Butler Trio's U.S. debut, "Sunrise Over Sea," and with good reason. Anyone who doesn't enjoy country, blues or folk will be surprised and then gladly seduced by the Australian threesome's acoustic cross-pollination of these genres, because the group's home-distilled sound also embraces pop's upbeat and accessible nature. Appalachia infuses the brew with heady flavors on redemption song "Damned to Hell," the pensive "Bound to Ramble" and the urgent "Mist." Because of their rhythmic complexities, pieces like "There Will Come a Time" and organic dance number "Company Sin" make listeners forget that only three people are performing. "What You Want," where Butler expresses the anguish of keeping love alive over long distances, is wonderfully overwhelming.—CLT

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print